Holy F*ck #4

Holy-Fuck-4

The grand finale of Holy F*ck is here. Will Jesus and Satan save the world from nuclear Armageddon? Will the world still have faith in Jesus? Will the comic include some dick jokes? Let’s discover the long and veiny truth!

The story wraps up with Jesus skydiving onto a nuclear missile and fucking it, yes, fucking it until it explodes. From there the other gods decide to leave when they can and leave Zeus hanging. Even Isis ends up leaving him.

The ending was great. The nun ends up killing Zeus but not in the violent way you thought would happen. Kind of like the end of A Nightmare on Elm Street, the way she kills Zeus is by telling him that he’s not a god anymore. He’s nothing. And because he’s nothing, there’s nothing he can do to stop her. And pop, he disappears, dead (maybe). I love how they acknowledged that as a deity, simply stabbing him or filling him full of lead with a machine gun would not be the way to end his life. Since they live by faith, they can die by faith. But much like Freddy Krueger, faith can bring him back and bring back his power thus setting up sequels.

I also really enjoyed the spoof on 80’s action films. Growing up in the 80’s, action stories to me are exaggerated fantasies. They’re just as much fantasies are the old sword and sorcery epics of ages past. While they are set in a world we are familiar with and using tools we recognize, they are not meant to be realistic stories that could happen. Action movies should not be like The French Connection. There should be lots of explosions, boobs, guns, boobs, and more explosions. There should be snappy one liners. Sometimes they can have a message but more often than not the most complex story should be that something bad happens to the good guy and he kills a hell of a lot of people in retribution.

This story has all the makings of an 80’s action film, albeit a spoof. It’s like Kung Fury with a message. It’s a message similar to Star Wars really. Yes, Star Wars has a message. A very simple one but a message nonetheless. For Star Wars that message is that being good can be a hard damn thing to do but in the end is much more fulfilling a life to live than it is to be evil.

For Holy F*ck the message is about faith. What could a comic where Jesus fucks a nuclear bomb into submission have to tell you in terms of a message? That if you are going to have faith in something, whether it be a deity, a politician, a spouse, something, that faith should never be based on fear. That faith should be based on love. Anything that you put your faith in that you’re afraid of is something that will let you down at some point. Let’s say in the story that Zeus and Isis were successful and people started following them. Much like Hitler during his rise, people had faith that he would bring Germany back from the ashes the other nations threw it in after World War One. But, again like Hitler, people ended up being tired of his rule, lost their faith in him, and ended up revolting. Something would have set Zeus and Isis off, probably paranoia, and caused them to destroy the very people they wanted to have faith in them.

The last pages set up a sequel quite nice. We end with Hercules coming home and being told by Anansi that his father was dead. And the last page reveals the name of the sequel series, Holy F*cked. I can’t wait. Yeah, I discovered this through Comic Blitz and I’m glad I did but I will not wait for the new series to arrive on Comic Blitz. I need it now!

Bottom Line:

This has been a wonderful series. What started off as a one note joke, which there is nothing wrong with that, believe me, turned into something a little deeper. Much like food, not every bit of writing needs to be a classic. For every gourmet meal you encounter, sometimes you want to pop some hot dogs into the microwave and pig out while watching South Park on Hulu. But this series has been more than that. What it has turned out to be is some nice Hebrew National hot dogs that have been fired up on the grill with all the toppings you could think of on top of it. When something like this comic can take a simple premise and just add that little bit of something that makes you tilt your head and go damn, they’re doing something right. Along with Ms. Marvel, this has been my new favorite comic series. Not because the writer and artist have both been very gracious in acknowledging the reviews I’ve been giving them (though that is one hell of a nice thing to do and something I will never forget) but because they have a damn fine piece of work here.

Growing up, Beavis and Butt-Head was one of my favorite television shows. Hell, if it were on now, I’d still laugh my ass off. The show made no excuses for what it was. It was dumb. It was intentionally written to features two idiots who reveled in the fact that they were dumb. The magic in that show though was the writing. You don’t realize the genius behind the writing until you try and do it yourself. Mike Judge did one hell of a job (as well as the other writers on the show of course) of building up the material. The show was a lot like a pressure cooker. The longer you watched, the more the comedy pressure built up until the very end where you just let it all go with a laugh.

This comic has been a lot like that but again, with a little something extra. Yes it’s crude. It’s sure to offend some folks. But they’re missing the fact that in the crudeness the creators are actually saying that faith, which the people who would be offended at the religious references in the story say they have, is very much a good thing if it is there for the right reasons. It’s a celebration of what the people who would be offended by this say they have. For that, you will not regret reading this comic. And if that doesn’t entertain you, Jesus fucking a nuclear missile will.

Holy F*ck Issue 3

Holyfuck3

Holy Fuck, I’m still doing this. 54 days in a row. And I have to say the response I’ve been getting, and frankly feeling, has been quite good. I made the right decision doing this. Politics has its place and all but at the end of the day, talking about comics and why I may or may not like them is just damn fun.

One thing I wanted to accomplish with this site was to vary my comic reading. By default I’ve been focusing more on Marvel Comics not because I think Marvel is the greatest comic book company in the world but because I have a subscription to Marvel Unlimited. I love Marvel Comics but at the end of the day too much of one thing can make you quite bored with what once entertained you. What has kept things varied has been great services like Comic Blitz. They’re in a lot of ways the Netflix of comics. They’ve brought together a couple well known companies along with a nice group of companies the average person may not heard of. Once such comic company is Action Lab Comics who also produces a mature label called Action Lab Danger Zone.

One comic I discovered was called Holy F*ck. Admittedly, if these types of a la carte services did not exist, if we were back in the 1990’s, this may not have been a comic I would have bought. And frankly that would have been my loss because each issue keeps getting better and better.

One analogy I used for the comics in my earlier reviews was comparing it to a fart joke. I kind of regret that in hindsight. While folks who know me get what I am saying, to the average person that analogy probably comes off as a bit condescending when it really wasn’t. I was referring to the fact that the first two issues were not subtle. At all. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Take Mel Brooks. He has made a lot of funny movies over the years. Even movies like The Producers (the original, not the abortion that was the musical), a movie I didn’t really care for, was funny as hell just for the audience reaction to Springtime for Hitler. Mel, when he made movies so in this case I will use the past tense when describing his work even though he is thankfully quite alive and well, has two ways to make you laugh. He can hit you over the head with his comedy…

…but he could also make you think.

To me, the greatest comedy ever made was Blazing Saddles. Never before, and probably never again, had we had a movie with a very real and serious message dealt with by glorifying the stupidity of the bad people you are supposed to look down on. Mel realized that when dealing with racists, people were going to respond more to laughing at them than they were going to with a movie that dealt with the issue seriously. Yeah, yeah, there have been many great dramas throughout the years that have dealt with racism and have done it beautifully. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of them. But to me, to really show the absurdity of something like racism, you have to show how utterly fucking dumb it is. Because come on, anyone stupid enough to treat someone like dirt just because of the way they look deserves to be laughed at.

For Holy F*ck, I thought this comic fell into the Spaceballs camp of funny. Jokes for the sake of jokes. Turns out I was gladly wrong with that assessment. After Jesus saves the nun, he escapes with her and Satan to the desert. There, Jesus and Satan give up. The nun verbally slaps them both into place by telling Jesus that she refuses to lie down and take the actions of Isis and Zeus because she will not worship a god out of fear. If she is going to worship a god, it will be out of love.

There was the deeper meaning I was looking for in the first couple issues! It’s a simple moment, going by quickly, but it takes a story that is silly but funny and makes it a story about why people of faith do the shit they do sometimes. Whether you believe in a deity or not is besides the point, people with faith have done amazing things because they felt that the love for their deity was worth everything they were going through. Take Ghandi. Take Martin Luther King Jr. Take the Dalai Lama. Those are three famous names but there are millions more over the centuries who have fought for the public good because of their faith and for the love of their deity. Faith and love can and are powerful mental broadswords that can get you through quite a lot in life.

One other aspect I really enjoyed this issue was Zeus and Isis on the Helen DeGenerate show. It reminded me of Idiocracy, the classic Mike Judge film about the dumbing down of society. The glazed look in the host’s eyes as Zeus and Isis calmly declare their intention to blow up the world and the audience happy they received designer gas masks says a lot about our society today without really having to say anything. We live in some strange times where people are more concerned with being on television than they are about making the world a better place for people to live in.

Oh...yeah.

Oh…yeah.

Bottom Line:

Each issue keeps getting better. What started off as a funny but silly story is quickly turning into something more. While it certainly won’t end with “This Comic has been brought to you by the Watchtower Society!” it is still a great story about the power of faith and love. Following someone, anyone, out of fear may work in the short term but long term you will be overthrown. Just ask Emperor Palpatine! Comics are a true American art form. This comic shows that what comes off as a bit silly can have quite a bit more substance. It doesn’t have to be slathered all over the story like a young kid emptying a syrup bottle on his one pancake he’s having for breakfast. It can be just that right amount of syrup that makes eating a pancake worth it. Cause pancakes alone, unless you cook them with a bag of fucking sugar can taste like crap. I hate pancakes. Bad example. But hopefully you get my point. I strongly encourage you to read this comic. Apart from Ms. Marvel, Holy F*ck is one of my favorite comics around today. Thanks to Nick Marino and Daniel Arruda Massa for making the series, Action Lab Danger Zone for publishing it, and Comic Blitz for adding it to their collection for me to find. Marvel and DC are great companies. They would just never touch a story like this with a ten foot pole. In the end, it would be their loss because this is fucking amazing.

Robyn Hood #1

Robyn Hood

50 days in a row. I can’t believe it. I really can’t. I thought that somewhere along the line I would falter, miss a day, than before I realized it I would have forgotten about the reviews. But here we are. 50 days and counting.

I had to think about what I wanted to read for this review. For the longest time I debated about finding a well known comic that had a famous issue at issue 50 but then I talked myself out of it. The joy I’ve had doing this has been discovering stories I may not have chosen if I were in a comic shop. So with that in mind, thanks to Comic Blitz, I decided to give Robyn Hood a try.

Apparently this should be considered volume two. Seems Robyn Hood had been taken to a mystical land called Myst and met a witch named Marion. After their adventures Robyn heads back to New York with Marion in order to start a new life as a private detective.

Reading this comic I was reminded of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. That’s not a bad thing. While this story is very much its own story the homage to other stories is certainly there and helps someone like me who is diving into this universe for the first time to actually enjoy everything that is going on.

Masterfully, they dealt with backstory in a great way. While they touched upon it, the backstory of Robyn and Marion was never crucial to the story at hand. The writer knew that not everyone even knew there was another comic this story came from and wrote it as if it were the first time anyone ever read it which I really liked. Too often writers want to assume that you’re in on everything that is happening and forget to clue in new readers as to what is going on. I applaud the writers of this comic for their skillful use of backstory.

One issue I had occurred near the end of the story. Once Robyn and Marion realized that the person they were looking for was called The Priest, their client Sam calls and tells them she is trapped in a building with stained glass. They’d already established by this point that Robyn and Marion were standing in front of a church so it was quite convenient that two bits of info magically appear that leads them to a building that is right behind them. That was way too convenient to take seriously. That didn’t even give us the courtesy of acknowledging how convenient is was through the dialogue. They just ran into the church and started investigating.

The artwork was pretty solid. While it will not be something that will be studied hundreds of years from now examining the history of comic books, it serves its purpose. The locations feel real which is one complaint I really hate in other comics. After reading a bit about the history of comics from a great book called Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, I discovered that I do relate most to the comic format that Jack Kirby helped establish. Characters have to be realistic enough and the action has to happen around every corner. While there are other forms of art out there that are quite enjoyable, such as the work from Nick Marino and the Holy F*ck miniseries, like in music it is best for people to stick with the basics before they decide to do something different. This story is a traditional superhero story. To be abstract with the art or story would do it a disservice.

Bottom Line:

This was a pretty good comic. While honestly I have to say that the back story is not something I would probably be interested in, this issue came across like a nice hybrid of fantasy and realism. Just like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. The great thing about those shows is that despite every fantastical thing that went on in the story, at its core it was about the relationship the characters had with each other. If that personal connection wasn’t there, you’d just have a bunch of talking heads yapping on for no reason and action pieces happening to people you don’t care about for reasons you don’t care about. Much like the Star Wars prequel movies. (Honestly, when it comes to the prequels I don’t hate them. But to dismiss the honest criticism that is out there would be foolish. They could have been so much better than they were. It just goes to show that movies cannot be a solo endeavor. You have to collaborate.)

This story interested me enough to want to know more. Much like Brian Bendis and his work on Ultimate Spider-Man, this issue tells a self contained story that on the last page gives you a hook to want to come back for more. This was well done and something I recommend. I give the story a 7.

The art was pretty decent but at the end of the day was just serviceable. Nothing about it really stuck out as being amazing. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying the art here was bad. It was clean and told the story in the classic Kirby style which best suited this story. There was just nothing that really stuck out as being visually stunning. Maybe it was being so new to this universe that threw me off and will be something that will wear off with subsequent issues. One thing I did like was the depth in the settings. Once they were standing in front of the church you felt like you were really there. You felt that cold chill you get at night no matter what time of year it is. You could just smell the trees. For that alone I have to give the art an 8. When someone does something that well, even if it only on a couple pages, you reward them for their good work.

Holy F*ck #1

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This comic is not for the faint of heart or folks even the slight being Judeo/Christian religious. This is about how a nun, Jesus, and Satan help save the world from Zeus and Isis from destroying it by nuclear weapons. To Kill a Mockingbird this is not.

I have a weird sense of humor. Sometimes the dumbest things can make me laugh. Like this…

Dumb yes but if you don’t find yourself laughing than you have no soul and are probably a Donald Trump supporter.

This comic is called Holy F*ck. It’s a simple premise and a simple story. A nun, with the help of Jesus, has to stop Zeus and Isis from destroying the world. The issue details her meeting the Messiah in a Japanese karaoke bar where he is smoking crystal meth with a couple naked prostitutes. She takes him to New Jersey where they meet up with Satan who it turns out is Jesus’ long lost lover. The last image of the story is Jesus and Satan kissing. The nun is also kidnapped by the bad guys and Jesus saves the day with guns ablazin’.

This comic is meant to shock. Its purpose is to take images that people hold dear and completely flip them. People will either enjoy what the writer is doing or wish for his place in the deepest place Hell has to offer. The humor in the story comes from the sheer ludicrous situations you find the Savior in. What self respecting deity would find themselves smoking crystal meth? He couldn’t afford coke?

I do like the premise of gods people used to follow looking to cause chaos in order to get people to believe in them again. The only reason Zeus and Isis are looking to do this is to get them, and the other deities that work with them, the faith they had been forsaken for many years due to Jesus. If the comic were to be expanded, which apparently it is just a four issue series, than there could be some room for exploration of the bad guys in the story from just generic bad guys to somewhat sympathetic people who are jealous of their power being taken away due to lack of interest from their former subjects.

The story is funny but have no doubt that this is a one note story. The 24 pages of the story fly by fast because there is not much dialogue to speak of. It is very simplistic and ruins a chance to, while still being something that is very much offensive to people of faith, a vehicle that could explore faith and how humanity has shifted their faith throughout the years. But this story is having none of that. It’s focus is taking images people take as sacred and do their best to put them in as many ridiculous situations as they can. For the most part they’re doing what South Park has done, and done better mind you, yet failing to get why Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been much more successful at writing religious satire than this. If you like seeing Jesus with a machine gun, this is the comic for you.

The art work is simplistic at best but it fits the tone of the story. Being that this is a one note story, if the art were drawn realistic or even drawn in the classic comic style, it would kill the tone. The simplicity of the art, the almost childish aspect of it, helps elevate the tone. It brings out the humor more than a realistic drawing would be.

Bottom Line:

This comic is the equivalent of a fart joke. That doesn’t mean it’s bad cause when the times right, there is nothing more funny than a good, loud fart. I love farting near my dog just to see her look of confusion at the sudden noise coming from my backside. Funny stuff. But being that the story is the equivalent of a fart joke, the substance of what could actually be a pretty decent look at faith through the lens of satire and dark humor is wasted for cheap jokes. I thought the comic was funny and I recommend it but I have to give the story a 5.

The art does a lot to elevate the tone of the story. It is simple and childish but like the material it knows the audience it is shooting for and hits it out of the park. I think that art that was more serious or traditional would have probably killed the joke. I give the art a 7.

Now I want to take a moment and talk about the app I read this comic on. For a few months now I’ve heard about a Netflix for Comics service that was on the way called Comic Blitz. I had tried Comic Fix out and while I enjoyed it some, I was disappointed in the amount of content they had at the price they were charging. Comic Blitz is different. For example, Comic Fix had The Boys from Garth Ennis and had a decent number of issues. Not all however. Comic Blitz has all 72 issues. They also have the Django/Zorro comic line as well as other gems from the indie comic world. The first month is free. Each month after that is $9.99. The sheer volume of comics they have is amazing and I hope to see more companies and more issues and new stories added as time goes on. While I love me some Marvel and DC, the fact is there is more to comic life than just those two companies. One day in and Comic Blitz has been well worth my time and a service that I will certainly enjoy for the foreseeable future. They are not paying me for this. No one from the company has contacted me asking me for a review. While I would certainly love some freebies from them, cause I am one cheap bastard, I want to see them succeed and encourage ALL comic book fans to support this company. Digital comics are the future. While I never wish for regular paper comics to disappear, like Pandora or Netflix, digital services like this are great ways for people to sample material they may not have given a chance to due to price. Services like this allow you to try something that may be out of your comfort zone. Take Marvel Unlimited. Without that app I would not have read Ms. Marvel and now that is my favorite comic. With the new Comic Blitz app, a new favorite is waiting for me to find. I started one called My Boyfriend is a Monster which is off to a good start. Thanks Comic Blitz.